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Future Indigent Defense Leaders announced Monday, July 1 its inaugural class of 25 mentors and 25 mentees. A joint venture of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the Harris County Public Defender’s Office, and the Texas Indigent Defense Commission.

Corsicana attorney Shana Stein Faulhaber, mentor and Kathleen Cameron, mentee participated in the event.

FIDL is a first-of-its-kind statewide mentoring program focused on creating the next generation of public defense leaders and advocates.

Mentors and mentees underwent a rigorous application and interview process, beating out scores of other attorneys statewide. FIDL participation includes three years’ training and mentoring through Gideon’s Promise, an award-winning public defense leadership institute; TCDLA membership, training, and benefits and local training and mentorship.

The purpose of TCDLA is to protect and ensure by rule of law those individual rights guaranteed by the Texas and Federal Constitutions in criminal cases; to resist the constant efforts which are now being made to curtail such rights: to encourage cooperation between lawyers engaged in the furtherance of such objectives though educational programs and other assistance; and through such cooperation, education and assistance to promote justice and the common good. For more information, visit www.tcdla.com.

The purpose of HPDO is comprised of Harris County Public Defender’s, a team of professionals who represent indigent persons in the misdemeanor, felony, juvenile and appellate courts of Harris County. Clients receive zealous representation from the combined experience of lawyers, investigators, social workers, and administrative staff. For more information, visit www.harriscountypublicdefender.org.

The Texas Indigent Defense Commission provides financial and technical support to counties to develop and maintain quality, cost-effective indigent defense systems that meet the needs of local communities and the requirements of the Constitution and state law. More information is available at www.tidc.texas.gov.